Works on Waterways Permits

The Goulburn Broken CMA has the functions under the Water Act 1989 to assess works on waterway applications, and where appropriate, issue permits to construct works or undertake activities on a waterway.

This section provide guidelines that should be read before application forms are submitted.

Are you proposing to undertake works or activities on a waterway?

To protect our rivers and creeks it is important that new activities or works undertaken do not adversely affect the health of those waterways.

Many practices in the past have caused major degradation to our waterways. For example, poorly constructed crossings and other structures can cause erosion, obstruct water flow and hinder the passage of aquatic life.

Works and/or activities in, under, on or over designated waterways require a permit from the regional Catchment Management Authority (CMA). Works and/or activities may include:

  • Access crossings including bridges, culverts and fords
  • Service/utility crossings
  • Stormwater outlets
  • Stabilisation works such as bank protection, battering, and retaining structures
  • Vegetation and debris removal
  • Sand and gravel extraction
  • Removal of vegetation and large wood in and around waterways to reduce flood impacts

Interactive map

This online information tool can help you check if there is a waterway where you are planning to do work.

  1. Zoom into the map, or use the address search, to find your property.
  2. Check if you have a wateway located near your proposed works. 
  3. If so, follow the works on waterways permit application process below.

View larger map

Works on waterways permit application process

Step 1:  Permit applications and guidelines are available  by clicking on the links below or by contacting the Goulburn Broken CMA office.

Step 2:  Fill in the application form, providing as much detail as possible, before submitting the application to the Goulburn Broken CMA by post (PO Box 1752, Shepparton.  Vic.  3630 or email your application to planning@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Step 3:  An assessment of the application is undertaken. Depending on the complexity of works further information may be required to progress your application. In this instance, additional charges may apply.

Step 4:  Subject to the application and proposed works being deemed as satisfactory, a permit is issued.

Step 5:  Any person, who carries out works or activities for which a permit has been issued must:

    • notify the CMA at least seven (7) days defore commencing the works or activities; and
    • notify the CMA upon completion of the works or activities.

Note:  Unless otherwise stated, the permit issued is valid for one year from its date of issue (unless earlier revoked by the CMA).

Why do you need a permit?

CMAs are responsible for the control, management and authorisation of works and activities in, under, on or over designated waterways.

Approval to undertake works and/or activities ensures the protection and care of waterways, and the conservation and preservation of flora, fauna and habitat in waterways throughout the catchment.

What happens if you don't obtain a permit?

Failure to obtain a permit or failure to observe the given conditions may constitute an offence under the Water -Act 1989 or the CMA's Waterways Protection By-law. Penalties for offences do apply.

Are there any exemptions?

In general, works associated with:

  • a licence to take and use water; or
  • the right to water; or
  • a dam or weir situated on a designated waterway for which a licence has been issued;

do not require a permit from the CMA, as they are regulated by the Rural Water Authority.

Rural Water Authority contact details:

Goulburn Murray Water 1800 013 357 (free call)

Other considerations

If you propose to undertake works on land that you do not own, including Crown land, written consent from the landowner must be provided to support the application.

Some works may also require a planning permit such as the removal of native vegetation. It is your responsibility to obtain any other required permits or approvals.

Applications to undertake works may also require the preparation of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan. It is your responsibility to determine whether a plan is required. Further information can be found online at www.aboriginalaffairs.vic.gov.au or contact Aboriginal Affairs Victoria direct, (03)  9208 3333.

Some other exemptions may apply. Please contact the CMA for further information.

Please note: The fees and charges for lodgement of a Works on Waterways licence application has been updated effective from 1st July 2022. All applications submitted after this date will need to apply the new rates.


Application forms for works on waterays 2023-2024

Works on waterways guidelines

Specific notes for various types of works on waterways permits

Waterways Protection By-law

The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

168 Welsford Street, PO Box 1752, Shepparton VIC 3630
T (03) 5822 7700
F (03) 5831 6254

89 Sydney Road, PO Box 124, Benalla VIC 3672
T (03) 5822 7700

Shop 5/10 High Street, Yea VIC 3717
T (03) 5822 7700

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